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First proper session in two months


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Wow - I looked out the door at 22.30 and the sky was dark!

I eventually got set up at 23.30 and aligned on Altair and Albireo... After admiring Albireo for a bit I slewed to Vega and realigned on it (NexStar won't offer stars near the zenith for initial alignment) and then on to M13. Always a wonderful sight, and exactly like an astrophoto if you squint a little. Thin cloud meant I could only resolve a few stars.

Next stop was M27 using my UHC filter. The cloud must have been thinner to the south, as I could make out a bit of detail here - the nebula looked H-shaped, but not the distinct bow-tie I have seen from a dark site.

M71 is nearby so I gave in to temptation and tried to find this object yet again. Despite its magnitude of 6.1 I simply cannot see it. Hunted around for ages and then changed tack and looked at the Coathanger Asterism. It's far too big for my telescope's FOV, but I panned about and got the general idea.

I changed to double stars because of the thickening haze. My highlight of the night was 95 Herc - a pretty, even pair, light blue and yellow. Quite a close double - I was viewing it at 220x. I'd never seen this one before. Zeta Lyrae and and Epsilon Lyrae were next, and Epsilon was hard to split tonight.

M57 was next - I tried a range of magnifications and filter combinations, but it suffered from the haze tonight.

It was getting late so I hopped off to the Double Cluster. It seemed to have grown in the past couple of months... is the solar system being sucked into this cluster? No, I had mistaken my 13mm hyperion for my 24mm in the dark.

M31 and Almach finished off the evening. M31 was quite faint, less bright than M13.

I packed away and then realized the moon was climbing over the neighbor's house (no wonder M31 was struggling). I set up again and tried out my UHC as a moon filter and it worked quite well, but by now I was dewing up, so I packed away once more.

As I made a cup of tea, I noticed Jupiter following the moon - if only I had paid more attention to dew protection tonight, and planned a little more in Stellarium, instead of drooling over Teleskop Service's website!

Edited by Ags
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Great report - glad you had a good night with the scope. Some old familiars there, that bear repeat viewing. I got clouded out last night.....Just beginning to set up, and then a cloud bank rolled in.

Ed

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Had a look at a a few doubles myself last week including 95 Her, 925+13mm Nagler. The components are very close as you say, made for a striking view as did 17 and 61 Cygnus with 61 particularly impressive with both stars showing a beautiful golden colour. They appeared almost identical which makes for a nice image through the ep.

Glad to see you got out after 2 months!

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Great report Ags, not as exciting as yours perhaps but I observed The Great Nebula in Andromeda last night for the first time, albeit a very indistinct smudge. I then found M4 near Antares (I think!) again only a vauge smudge but I was happy in the fact I found them using my ETX80.(non Goto). I hope things will improve when my CPC800 is finally shipped out to me later this month. Last night was the best conditions out here for ages as the daytime temperature is starting to fall off and the evenings are getting to be a lot cooler so not as much heat thermals spoiling things.

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Nice report. M71 is a very diffuse globular, with an almost open cluster appearance (tight one, like M11). I got it in my C8 recently, and on dark night even the 15x70 bins show it. The best views of M31 and M33 have been with my 80mm scope using the 22mm Nagler (3.76 deg FOV). the 15x70s are a close second.

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It was getting late so I hopped off to the Double Cluster. It seemed to have grown in the past couple of months... is the solar system being sucked into this cluster? No, I had mistaken my 13mm hyperion for my 24mm in the dark.

:) ha ha brilliant. How do you find the 13mm Hyperion? Your signature says you have the 17mm too. Why do you prefer? Thanks

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I only have the 17mm - but I tend to use it at 13mm with a fine tuning ring. Which all adds to the confusion in the dark...

I posted my experiences of the 17mm with both rings on (making it a 9mm) - I was not too impressed with the results. But a single 14mm fine tuning ring gives a good 13mm EP, with only a hint of oddness around the field stop.

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So far I find M31 is best in binoculars. I'm getting an RFT soon, so it will be interesting to try the view in that.

To right. I fancy a RFT myself at some point they're a great compliment to any scope at a dark sight.

Regards Steve

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To right. I fancy a RFT myself at some point they're a great compliment to any scope at a dark sight.

Regards Steve

Dead right. For low magnification, you can go for the likes of the ST80 or ST102. I chose the 80 APM triplet so I can go over to the dark side AND use it as a neat RFT. It gave me much better views of the Rosette than the C8 ever could. It was also instrumental in finding the Pelican and the whole of the Veil (in one 5.6 deg FOV:D:D).

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